Tutorial > Listening to mainstream media > Podcast >

Streaming podcasts

This page contains information on how to listen to streamed podcasts. It describes how to obtain information about the podcast and how to add a podcast available in the SpeakOn Library to your Favourites sub-directory.

The Podcast task should be running. To find a podcast feed to play, move the focus to the Library control if you are not already there. To do that, press the 'Focus' [Tab] (3) key.

Press the 'Left' [left arrow] (4) key a few times until you hear a beep and a message indicating that you are at the top level (level 0) of the tree. The focus is on the Podcast media directory.

Listening to the audio podcast files streamed directly from feeds on the internet 

In this part of the tutorial, you will listen to a BBC Radio 1 programme podcast streamed directly from the feed. This is an audio file of a BBC programme which is made available by the BBC, enabling you to listen to the programme when you want to.

Press the 'Right' [right arrow] key and you are placed in the 'All Feeds' directory. This directory enables you to find thousands of podcast feeds on the internet. Press the 'Right' key and you are placed in the 'BBC' directory. Press the 'Right' key again and you are placed in the 'BBC station list' directory. Another Right press and you are in the 'Radio 1' directory which contains all the feeds offered by BBC 'Radio 1'. Press the 'Right' key again and you are placed at the first media item which at the time of writing this tutorial is a feed of a program called 'Scott Mills Daily'. You can listen to this feed or find another one by using the 'Down' and 'Up' keys.

To start streaming a podcast, press the 'Select' [Enter] (5) key. The focus moves automatically to the Player control and the first episode (podcast audio file) in the feed starts to play. To stop the file playing, press the 'Select' key again.

The feed is presented to the Player as a collection of one or more episodes which are MP3 streamed files. Most feeds (the BBC feed contains only one episode) contain more than one episode and you can navigate between these (if they exist) with the 'Up' and 'Down' keys.

To select another feed, press the 'Focus' key to move the focus back to the Library control where you can navigate between feeds.

Possible problems 

Sometimes you may come across the following problems:

As stated above, the feed files normally contain one or more episodes. Sometimes however, a provider may choose to leave the feed empty meaning that no episodes are available - SpeakOn will inform you about this problem which you can do nothing about - choose another feed.

The quality of podcasts varies enormously; not all feeds are active or formed properly (there are many amateurs who create their own podcasts), and if this is the case, after pressing the 'Select' key you will hear (after 20 seconds or so) that the feed or the server cannot be found. If you find that for some reason nothing happens for a while, it is possible that there is some other problem and you can press the ‘Cancel’ [Ctrl] (0) key to cancel the operation which may take up to 20 seconds to take effect.

Please note that sometimes the connection with the server can be slow and this can result in intermittent sound. There is usually little you can do about it, so choose another feed or try the same feed later.

Obtaining podcast information

You can get context sensitive information about a podcast using the following keys:

When the focus is on either the Favourites or the Temporary sub-directories in the Library:

Info [F2] (F: Info > Up 8) - podcast name, author, genre and ratings
(The information available depends on the podcast source.)

When the focus is on the Player:

Info [F2] (F: Info > Up 8) - podcast name, author, genre, ratings and podcast general description
(The information available depends on the podcast source.)

# Info [Shift + F2] (F: Info > Right 6) - podcast episode description
(The information available depends on the podcast source.)

* Info [Ctrl + F2] (F: Info > Left 4) - Podcast episode timing and length information

*# Info [Ctrl + Shift + F2] (F: Info > Down 2) - podcast episode format information

For most podcasts, you can access the podcast's website page. From the Main menu select:
Website > Podcast website page
Your default internet browser is launched with the relevant page.

Adding a podcast to your Favourites sub-directory

Once a podcast feed is open in the Player, you can add it to your favourites sub-directory in the Library. With the focus on the Player, select from the menu:
Files > Add to Favourites - subscribe for streaming

Many of these podcast feeds are updated continuously by the organizations that maintain them and checking these regularly is recommended.

Organizing your Favourites podcasts into sub-directories

Most users may have 10 - 20 favourite podcasts in which case finding a particular one is straight forward. If you wish, you can divide your Favourites podcasts directory into as many sub- directories as you want as follows:

Your Favourites podcasts are stored by default automatically in a simple text file with the extension '.rls' in the following folder:

Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista
Windows XP

Simply open this folder in your favourite folder management software (such as Windows Explorer) and create as many sub- folders as you like, moving the '.rls' files as desired. The Favourites directory in the Library will reflect the new folder structure you created automatically.

[ Next - Searching for new podcasts and searching for an episode in a podcast feed ]

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